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Men's College Cup

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest

Time: 5 p.m.

TV: ESPN 2

Records: Hokies 14-3-5, Demon Deacons 20-2-2

How They Got Here: Eleventh-seeded Virginia Tech defeated Cal (3-2), Old Dominion (1-0) and No. 3 Connecticut (1-0); No. 2 Wake Forest defeated Furman (1-0), No. 15 West Virginia (3-1) and No. 10 Notre Dame (1-0 in overtime).

Outlook: In the regular season meeting, the Hokies overcame a two-goal deficit in the final 16-plus minutes to tie the then-No. 1 Demon Deacons, 3-3, in Blacksburg, Va. Robert Edmans scored his second goal of the match in the 74th minute and Patrick Nyarko got the equalizer in the 86th. The Hokies are 11-1-2 when scoring first and 6-0-1 when Nyarko scores. Wake Forest, which leads the series 9-2-2, is making its second consecutive College Cup appearance after losing to eventual champion UC-Santa Barbara in last year's semifinals in St. Louis. Its only losses this season were to Boston College (regular season and ACC tournament). Two of Virginia Tech's three losses were to BC, as well. The Demon Deacons have outscored opponents 63-13 and are led by sophomore F Cody Arnoux (15 goals, 7 assists), sophomore MF Austin da Luz (3, 13) and senior D Julian Valentin (U.S. under-20 national team).

Prediction: Wake Forest, 2-1.

Massachusetts vs. Ohio State

Time: approximately 7:30 p.m.

TV: ESPNU

Records: Minutemen 17-7-1, Buckeyes 16-3-5

How They Got Here: U-Mass. defeated Boston University (2-1), No. 1 Boston College (2-1), Central Connecticut State (3-1) and Illinois-Chicago (2-1); No. 5 Ohio State defeated Louisville (1-0), No. 12 UC-Santa Barbara (4-3 in 2 OT) and Bradley (4-0).

Outlook: Both teams are making their semifinal debuts. The Minutemen, whose only other NCAA tournament appearance came in 2001, were picked to finish 10th in the 14-team Atlantic 10, but claimed third place and then beat fourth-seeded Charlotte for the conference title. The Buckeyes, in their fifth NCAA tournament, have a 14-game unbeaten streak (11-0-3) and have set program records for victories and shutouts (14).

Prediction: Ohio State, 3-1.

Final: Sunday, 3 p.m., ESPN2.

-- Steven Goff


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